A guest post by Matt Krautstrunk.
Developing a blog takes time. Finding your niche is something very few bloggers are able to do in the first few months of blogging. This failure to capture an audience can be attributed to what I call “blogging for Hollywood.” A phrase that refers to bloggers trying to follow the crowd, "blogging for Hollywood" means you are taking popular elements of other blogs and repurposing content, much like Hollywood.
Hollywood movies all follow a consistent theme; a main character encounters a problem and overcomes adversity to solve this problem. However, independent movies are much more exciting for many true movie fans because they are free from script restrictions and profit-minded direction. Blogging for Cannes means:
• Developing your own opinion-based content pieces.
• Keeping your blog organic and intimate, rather than corporate and polished.
You may say, “Well, independent movies don’t make any money,” and this is often true. However, for a director to earn respect in the industry, I would say the indie wire is a much easier route than a corporate Hollywood strategy. And the same goes for blogging. If you are blogging for Hollywood and repurposing social media 101 content, it will be hard to stand out among millions of bloggers. However, if you are taking a niche topic like “a blog for stay-at-home dads” and cultivating that topic with engaging content, you will begin forming a community.
Hollywood loves two things: 1.) explosions and 2.) characters overcoming adversity. As movie-goers, we expect to see at least one of these elements in every Hollywood movie. However, with independent films, sometimes the bad guy wins or the emotion of a movie is so powerful that it doesn't need an explosion. The same can be said about blogging.
You shouldn’t create your blog to follow a formula set by other popular bloggers. Create your own storylines, develop your own opinions. Your readers will value your honesty.
Trying to please everybody in an industry by re-purposing content isn't as effective as blogging about topics that others aren't talking about. According to Seth Godin in his book "Tribes," “Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead. If you're not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, you're not reaching your potential.”
The Money Will Follow
The truth is many people do blog for money. Whether it is ad space or guest contributions, money is involved in the blogosphere the same way money is involved the film industry. The difference is, independent films aren’t solely profit motivated where as Hollywood films box office gross is used to evaluate the “success” of the movie. You shouldn’t measure your blog’s success with advertiser interest, or the money you make; you should instead work to keep more people within your community; the money will follow.
It’s hard to tell a blogger to not shoot for the stars, but the truth is, blogging is about human interaction. If you lose a corporate, re-purposed feel, you will convey emotion much more effectively in your content. In order to reach and influence a community, blogging for Cannes is a much more sound approach than blogging for Hollywood.
Matt Krautstrunk is a writer on topics ranging from small-business social media to VoIP phone systems at Resource Nation.
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